Canberra’s forgotten Town Centre is coming back to life.
While most of the attention has been on the City, Belconnen, Gungahlin and now Woden, Tuggeranong is experiencing its own development wave that is delivering new homes, residents and businesses into the Town Centre, particularly along the lake.
One development that will play a big role in revitalising the Town Centre will be Aspen Village, a joint venture project between Geocon and Empire Global, that will be home to 1000 new residents and 2500 square metres of quality ground floor commercial tenants.
Situated on the southern end of Anketell Street, Aspen Village reached a milestone this week when the two-stage project topped out, with settlement on Stage One due mid-year and the second stage “Black Diamond” due for completion late this year.
Divided by a laneway that will be activated by retail businesses, the two-stage project will inject 622 one to three-bedroom apartments and their residents into the area.
As well as a vibrant ground floor, Aspen Village will boast amenities such as sauna, heated swimming pool and gym in Stage One while Stage Two’s lower triangular building is set around a stunning atrium.
A 2200 square metre landscaped rooftop recreation area with heated pool, barbecue, dining facilities, firepits, lawn and children’s playground comes with spectacular 360-degree views over the lake or out to the Brindabellas.
At its tallest the largest section of Aspen Village rises to 12 storeys, scaling down to four in parts of Stage Two.
Geocon General Manager, Damon Smith said Tuggeranong had not seen a development of this size or quality before.
“Aspen will bring a new way of life to Tuggeranong where you can walk from your apartment to get a haircut or order a coffee,” he said.
Stage One is already sold out and only about 50 apartments are left in Stage Two, reflecting the strong demand for property in Canberra’s hot market.
Many buyers were locals wanting to stay in Tuggeranong including first-home buyers, first-time investors or the rising part of the market, downsizers.
Mr Smith said precinct projects such as Aspen Village helped Canberrans into homes.
“There’s a gross undersupply of high-density developments like this one across all sectors of the housing market at the moment. Its very hard to get into.”
Mr Smith said many forget that Tuggeranong hosts the second largest population of Commonwealth public servants in the ACT.
“So there is a strong workforce base,” he said.
“I think you only have to look at what Tuggeranong has to offer, it is a great Town Centre, and you can’t beat the outlook over the Brindabellas.”
The project has overcome the challenges of the pandemic to stay on track, despite lockdowns and the supply chain shortages that are impacting the Canberra construction industry.
Mr Smith said it had been “first in, best dressed” when it came to securing resources in the busy Canberra construction scene but Geocon had been lucky to procure the project two years ago.
Site Manager Tim Dykgraaf said materials shortages had forced the company to adapt to keep construction going and lockdowns in Sydney had reduced the pool of subcontractors available to it.
Coming out of the three-week construction shutdown last year had been challenging but Mr Dykgraaf said the team, many of whom had worked on other Geocon sites, had pulled together to get things on track.
“Despite all those challenges, we’re still on target for the handover of both stages,” he said.
Mr Dykgraaf, who lives nearby, said the new precinct would revitalise the area and many neighbouring businesses were excited at the prospect.